November 3, 2011
Israel has vowed to speed up construction in occupied Palestinian territory and freeze the transfer of crucial tax revenues, in a series of retaliatory measures against the Palestinians for seeking membership of Unesco.
The measures will infuriate the international community, which views all Jewish construction in occupied territory as illegal, while raising the pressure on the Palestinian Authority (PA) as it struggles to pay salaries amid a worsening economic crisis in the West Bank.
Nabi Abu Rudeina, a Palestinian official, slammed the decision, saying it would, “accelerate the destruction of the peace process”.
Israel had been expected to press ahead with punitive measures after Unesco members voted overwhelmingly to admit the Palestinians to the educational, scientific and cultural body in Paris on Monday, despite objections from Israel and the US. The decision handed the Palestinians a diplomatic victory but Israel responded that it changed nothing on the ground, while undermining peace talks.